So, I'm a new girl here, and was just wondering a few things... Basically, what can I expect? This is my first time attempting to cut out excess carbohydrates, and I do know that you can experience... Withdrawals, for lack of better term. So, what is this like? How long did it last? And after that, how did you feel? Also, did you notice any changes in your body comp and appearance that early (such as acne, muscle/fat)...?
Any help would be wonderful! :D
First, may I recommend that you get away from the idea that you are -denying- yourself anything (not saying you are, but it tends to be part of the "diet" culture that clings to a lot of folks I've seen trying to make the transition). Instead, frame it in the context of "I am making food choices that make me feel better, and which I hope will leave me healthier". When we get into the mindset of denying ourselves stuff, it seems to me that somehow, our emotions start feeling deprived, and along about 3 months, we start asking ourselves if, maybe, we couldn't JUST THIS ONCE have this thing we've been denied... sometimes, that thing kicks our butts (like me with gluten!)... which is actually better than the times we make a bad choice and NOTHING happens (like my companion with french fries and potato chips)... because then, it's easier to justify returning to unhealthy eating habits, or not letting go of ones you've got.
Trust your body. Between month 1 and month 3, if you're persistent, your tastes will actually start to change, to some extent, and some things that tasted really good before won't taste so great -- unless we've convinced ourselves that we're denying ourselves this really great thing. As an example, most of the things I really used to enjoy (like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups) are now so horribly sweet I can't eat them -- When it comes to a battle of the brains, you can't fool yourself -- if you treat it like denial, your brain is going to keep that idea in there that if you just do this for such-and-such amount of time, eventually, you can go back to doing the BAD stuff with fewer repercussions. Unfortunately, it doesn't really work that way.
In terms of reducing carbs, you don't say WHY you're reducing carbs, but what you do with your body is really a huge experiment. Once you drop refined sugar and refined grains for 90 days, your body is going to change the way that it perceives those things, if you let it. I'd say, start out by increasing your sat fats a bit, and decreasing your carbs a bit, and work your way down to a level that you're comfortable with, and that feels good for your body.
If you're diabetic or pre-diabetic, or have a lot of weight to lose, IME, that's a different matter, and cutting carbs down to as close to zero as you can manage is important, at least for a while. You'll go through something nicknamed the Low-Carb Flu, while your body adjusts to using ketones for fuel. It lasted 2-4 weeks for me and my mate -- for me, it looked completely dependent on how much your previous diet was weighted to carbohydrates. It was a LOT harder for my heavy-starch/grain companion than it was for me (who preferred fat and meat anyway). I got through it in 2 weeks -- it took her a little over a month.
Oh -- and one more thing... don't fall into the trap of trying to re-make the 'favorite foods list' from before Paleo out of paleo foods. It's a zero-sum game. They don't taste the same. Learn to cultivate NEW tastes, and use this as a time to try new recipes, and try REALLY SIMPLE foods -- down to the basics. You'd be surprised how awesome it is to be able to put a home-cooked meal on the table in 20 minutes, because there's NOTHING fancy in there -- just good, nutritious food -- and knowing that you'll wake up tomorrow feeling even better, and having a better handle on your body. After a while, it just becomes second nature.
Speaking only for myself, primal/paleo isn't exclusively about restricting "excessive" carbs but about eliminating grains and highly processed carbs.
You don't look overweight in your snapshot, Kenzie, so feel your way in and give yourself some time to learn what works best for you.
The only reason I can think of to immediately cut way back on carbs is if you suspect you are having problems with them and aren't sure which ones are the problem.
Otherwise, enjoy whole foods and welcome to the community!
Completely individual, people do better at different macronutrient ratios.
If you go low carb, expect to see a few pounds water weight lost pretty quickly.
After that, intra-week variations are very individual and in the long run it will depend entirely on your caloric deficit (assuming isonitrogenous diets).
How many carbs do you plan on going down to in a given day? Are you going very low carb or just cutting out the grains and starches? If you are going very low carb so that you will enter ketosis, you may have a few days of brain fog and fatigue, but just stick with it and you will feel much better and your appetite will likely be reduced after that. As the other answerer responded, you will lose some water weight initially, and you will probably notice that you will feel less bloated in general, especially if coming off of a wheat and grain diet. Best wishes, Jackie
Quick advice in no order:
Weigh your food if you don't already, I was severely underestimating what I was really eating. You know what your weaknesses are going in so tailor your eating to what will work for you, without making you crazy from missing something. Stay out of boring and familiar territory and use the opportunity to try new foods, seasonings, preparations.
Get some really awesome Tupperware that doesn't leak.
When you first change up your diet it's easy to give in to junk food if you get really hungry when you are out and about. So making sure you have good food with you is helpful.
Best wishes :)
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